Overview of Post-Conflict Recovery and Reconstruction: Experience and Lessons Learnt
Political stability is a strong necessary condition for sustained economic development, social progress, and poverty reduction. And yet, a candid reflection on the modern history of Africa over a period spanning more than two centuries would affirm that conflict and instability have been endemic in the continent, together with economic stagnation, resource depletion, and steadily deepening poverty, forming a self-perpetuating vicious circle. Underlying causes are rooted in individual and shared history, and include bad governance, institutional under-development, vulnerability to the vicissitudes of the forces of nature, rising population pressures on a fragile environmental resource base, and rivalry for resources (land, water, forests, grasslands, minerals, etc) essential for human survival and social well-being. Unless African societies gain the capacity to master the complex, intertwined factors that underlie or generate conflict, violence, and instability on the continent, many countries in Africa are unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.